June 24

Translation Of Dua-e-Areeza

Submitting our Wishes and Hajaats to Allah SWT via Areeza to Imam of our Time (Aft) is one of the most effective methods of getting our wishes accepted & Hajaats coming to fruition



Translation of Dua-e-Areeza

I have written to you O my master, may His mercy and blessing be on you, seeking a favour from you.

I have complained to you for what has happened to me seeking solutions

firstly from Allah and then from you for a matter that has obsessed me.

I am helpless in combating the problem and for that I have resorted to seeking help from Allah and from you.

Knowing the status you have with Allah.

I am confident that you will help me get the solutions to my problems swiftly and that you will intercede on my behalf.

I am helpless and moreover I am sinful:

so help O master and present this problem to Allah and I pray to Him that He will solve this quickly

and grant me victory and success in finding the solution to my problems.

(Write your personal wishes and problems in the provided space)



I am not able to carry or bear with it. Although I am responsible for the increase of my sins and

ignorant about my responsibilities (Wajibaats), from Allah which are given to me.

So help me O my master. Peace be upon you during this time of problems and sorrow.

presents my prayers to Allah before I compensate and before my enemies engulfs me.

For you have shown me your blessings.

So I pray to Allah for great salvation and near victory with calmness from all fears,

for Allah is most high and does what he wants. Allah is sufficient for me from beginning and in my hopes.

Whatever Allah wish there is neither strength nor any power except in Allah the High, the Great.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*When putting the Areeza in the sea, we normally recite the following,

addressing Husayn bin Rawh, the 3rd Na’ib of the 12th Imam a.s.:

“O Husayn bin Rawh, Salamun Alykum.

I bear witness that you died in the path of Allah and (hence), you are alive and are sustained by Allah.

I am addressing you in your life which you lead with Allah – this is my note and wishes to the master of the Era,

the 12th Imam (AS), so please hand it over to him for you are indeed trustworthy”.

(courtesy:fourteenstars)

June 15

The Excellence And Acts Of Worship (A’maal) For The Month Of Shabaan

THE EXCELLENCE AND ACTS OF WORSHIP (A’MAAL) FOR THE MONTH OF SHABAAN & 1st Shaban -Extract from Mafatih-ul-Jinan

Shabaan is a month of high excellence and is dedicated to the Leader of the Prophets (saaw). He used to keep fasts during this month and join it with the month of Ramadhan. He used to say, “Sha’baan is a month dedicated to me. Whoever keeps one fast during my month will definitely go to heaven”.

It has been reported from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that on the commencement of this month, Imam Zainul Abideen (as) would gather his companions and address them, “O my companions, do you know which month this is? It is the month of Shabaan about which the Holy Messenger (saaw) used to say that it is dedicated to him. So keep fasts during this month in the love of your Holy Prophet (saaw) and to attain closeness to your Creator. By Allah in whose hands is my soul, I have heard from my father, Hussein ibn Ali (as), that he had heard from Commander of Faithful (as), that whoever keeps fast during Sha’baan in the love of the Holy Prophet (saw) and to attain closeness to Allah will become a friend to Allah and on the Day of Judgment will be close to Allah by His grace and Paradise will be assured to him.”

Sheikh Tusi has reported from Safwane Jammal that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) asked him to encourage his neighbours and friends to fast in the month of Sha’baan. He asked the Imam if there was any special significance for it, and he replied that when the month commenced, the Holy Messenger (saw) would command his announcer to proclaim in Medina that the Holy Messenger (saaw) wished them to be aware that Sha’baan was a month dedicated to him and Allah bestows mercy on whosoever associates with him in this month by fasting. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) proceeded to report from Commander of Faithful (as) that since hearing the announcement, he never missed any fast during the month of Sha’baan and, Allah willing, hoped not to miss any during the remainder of his life. He added that fasting in the months of Sha’baan and Ramadhan is a means of repentance and pardon from Allah.

Keeping fast on Thursdays of the month also carried great significance. It has been reported that the heavens are decorated each Thursday in the month of Sha’baan and the angles pray to Allah to forgive all those who fast on that day and their prayers are accepted. It is stated in the reports of the narrations of the Holy prophet (saaw) that whoever fasts on Mondays and Thursdays of this month, Allah will fulfill twenty of his worldly wishes and twenty of his wishes of the Hereafter.

It is recommended to give alms in this month even if it is as small as a half date. Almsgiving in this month brings about rescue from Hellfire. In this respect, it has been narrated that when Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) was asked about the merits of observing fasting in Rajab, he answered, “Why do you not ask about the merits of observing fasting in Shaban.” “What is then the reward of him who observes fasting on one day in Shaban, Son of Allah’s Messenger?” asked the narrator. The Imam (a.s) answered, “The reward will be Paradise. I swear it by Allah.” The narrator then asked again, “What are the best deeds that should be done in Shaban.” The Imam (a.s) answered, “Almsgiving and seeking forgiveness are the best deeds in Shab¡n. Verily, if anyone of you gives alms in Sha`ban, Almighty Allah will breed that alms in the very same way as you breed your small camels. Hence, this alms will be as huge as Mount Uhud on the Resurrection Day.”

THE FIRST EVE:

Numerous prayers have been reported in “IQBAL” including twelve rakaats with the recitation of the Chapter on Ikhlas eleven times after the recitation of the Chapter on Al-Hamd.

It is a day of great excellence and it has been reported from Ja’far Sadiq (as) that whoever fasts on that day is assured of Heaven. Seyyid ibn Tawoos has reported from the Holy Messenger (saw) that a person who fasts on the first three days of this month and on their eve recites two rakaats in each of which he recites after the Chapter on Al-Hamd, the Chapter on Ikhlas eleven times will be greatly rewarded.

In the commentary of the Eleventh Imam (as) great excellence has been reported from the month of Sha’baan and its first day and its many benefits. Thiqatul Islam Noori (May Allah brighten his grave) has translated the reported at the end of this work “KALEM-E-TAYYIB” but as the report is too long to be included here fully, a summary of it is set out:

On a first of Sha’baan Commander of Faithful (as) passed by a group of a people who were seated in a mosque discussing the subject of destiny. Their voices were raised as the arguments were heated and the contentions severe. Commander of Faithful (as) stopped and greeted them. They replied, rose in deference to him and requested him to join them. Without heeding their request, he addressed them, “O people, do not indulge in discussions not beneficial to you. Are you not aware that there are creatures of Allah who, though not dumb or incapacitated, are dumbfounded out of his fear? Whenever they think of the greatness of Allah, their tongues become tied and their hearts feeble, they lose their senses and become confounded by His glory, majesty and magnificence. When they recover from this state, they revert to Allah regarding themselves sinful, though they are distant from sin and error. They are not content with their ordinary labours of Allah nor do they regard their enormous deeds as plentiful, and constantly engage themselves in efforts for the pleasure of Allah. Whenever you see them in prayer, you will notice them fearful and anxious. How do you compare with them, you the beginners? Are you not aware that the wisest of men are the most quiet and the most ignorant are the most vocal? O fresh people, today is the first of the honoured Sha’baan. Allah has so named it as the good things (khayraat) are disbursed in this month.

Allah keeps open in this month the gates of His benefaction and has made available for you His palaces and benediction for little virtue from you. So purchase them. But the cursed devil (Iblis) has embellished for you his vices and evil and you have always wandered astray and towards rebellion associating with evil and turning away from virtue of which He has opened the gates for you. This is the first of Sha’baan and the branches of its benediction are prayers, fasting, charity, admonishing towards virtue and restraining from evil, honoring the parents, relatives and neighbors, settlement of disputes and charity to the needy and poor. However, you have imposed on yourselves the load you cannot carry of discussing destiny. Enquiry into matters that are in the hands of Allah is not permissible to everybody, for it can lead to being misguided. Beware, if you knew what Allah has in store for the obedient, you would not have been indulging in such discussions but would have been engrossed in the matters prescribed for today.

“They asked, “O Commander of Faithful, what are the things Allah has kept in store this day for the obedient?” he narrated to them the episode of the army the Holy Messenger (saaw) had sent to fight the infidels. It was a dark night and when the infidels planned a night attach, the Muslims were all asleep except for Zaid bin Harith, Abdullah bin Rawaha, Qatadah bin No’man and Qays bin Asim Munqari. Each of them was engrossed in prayers and in recitation of the Holy Qur’an. The enemies shot arrows aimed at the Muslims. As it was pitch dark, the enemies could not see the Muslims to be frightened of its size and got so close to them that they were soon to destroy the Muslims. Suddenly such light beamed from the faces of these few individuals that the whole Muslim army became illuminated. This inspired the Muslims who unsheathed their swords and attacked the infidels killing them or wounding them and taking them prisoners. When they turned to the Holy Messenger (saw) and narrated their encounter to him, he said that the prayers of the their brothers on the first eve of Sha’baan was the cause of the light which illuminated from their faces.

Iblis spreads out his army round the earth urging them to make special efforts to attract the creatures of Allah towards them as Allah spreads His angels on this day round the world commanding them to look after His creatures well and urge them towards virtue and stating that because of them, the creatures will turn to virtue except for the disobedient and rebellious who would have united with the army of Iblis. On the first of Sha’baan Allah surely orders the Gates of Heaven to open up and the “Tree of Tooba” to bring its branches closer to earth and at that time there is an announcement from Allah, “O creature of Allah, these are the branches of the “Tree of Tooba”, cling to them as they will lift you to Heaven and these are the branches of the “Tree of Zaqoom”, beware of them lest they lead you to Hell”. The Holy Messenger (saaw) said, “By the one who has appointed me to the Prophet hood, whoever adopts any virtue on this day will have clung to a branch of the branches of the “Tree of Tooba” which will take him to heaven and whoever adopts evil on this day will surely have clung to a branch of the branches of the “Tree of Zaqoom” which will take him to fire.

“Tree of Tooba” & “Tree of Zaqoom”,

Whoever will recite optional prayers on the first of Sha’baan for the pleasure of Allah will have clung to one of its branches, whoever will keep fast on this day will surely have clung to one of its branches, whoever will reconcile between husband and wife or father and son or among relatives or neighbours or other people will surely have clung to one of the branches, whoever helps one in debt or reduces it has clung to one of the branches, whoever checks his accounts and discovers a debt due to him of which the lender has lost hope of repayment and he settles the debt, he will surely have clung to one of the branches, whoever stands surety for an orphan will surely have clung to one of the branches, whoever protects the dignity of a believer from the foolish has surely clung to one of the branches, whoever recites the Holy Qur’an or a portion of it has surely clung to one of the branches, whoever remembers Allah and counts His blessings and expresses his gratitude has surely clung to one of the branches, whoever visits a sick person has surely clung to one of the branches, whoever acts virtuously towards his parents or one of them has surely clung to one of the branches, whoever on this day pleases someone he had angered in the past has also surely clung to one of the branches, whoever joins in a funeral has surely clung to one of the branches, whoever on this day comforts a distressed person has surely clung to one of the branches and, likewise whoever does any good on this day has surely clung to one of the branches.

The Holy Messenger (saaw) said, “By the one who has appointed me to Prophet hood, whoever on this day indulges in the evil or sin will have surely clung to one of the branches of the “Tree of Zaqoom” which will pull him to the fire of Hell. By the one who has sent me as a Messenger, whoever becomes negligent with his obligatory prayers on this day will surely have clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever is approached by a weak or poor person of whose condition he is aware and is able to assist him without any harm to himself, and there is none other than him to help the poor, yet leaves him to collapse without holding his hand, then surely he has clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever, on receiving an apology from one who had wronged him, exacts from him punishment in excess of what is just for the wrong then surely he has clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever causes separation between husband and wife or parent and children or between brothers or brothers and sisters or relatives or neighbours or two friends or two sisters, he has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever is aware of the hardship of a person, yet becomes hard on him and worsens his plight by anger, has surely also clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever is indebted but denies the debt and endeavors to invalidate it, has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever molests an orphan, causes him trouble or destroys his property has clung to one of the branches of that tree.

Whoever transgresses on the reputation of a brother believer and causes people to dislike him, then has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever sings in such a manner that people indulge in sins, has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever sits and narrates his evil deeds and oppression during a war and takes pride in them, has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever has a sick neighbour but does not visit him as he regards him lower than himself has clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever fails to join in the funeral of a neighbour only because he regarded him base, has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever turns away from a distressed person and regarding him base oppresses him has surely clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever has been disowned (disinherited) by his parents or either of them, has also clung to one of the branches of that tree. Whoever has been disowned (disinherited) by his parents and despite being able to please them does not do so on this day, then he surely has clung to one of the branches of that tree and, likewise, whoever does any form of evil has surely clung to one of the branches of the “Tree of Zaqoom”.

By the one who has sent me as a Messenger, the branches of the “Tree of Tooba” will elevate those who have clung to them towards Heaven.” At that time the Holy Messenger (saaw) raised his eyes for a few moments towards the sky and looked pleased and then lowered his sight to the earth but looked displeased and turning to his companions said, “By the one who has sent Muhammad as a Prophet, I have surely seen the “Tree of Tooba” raise itself and raise all those who had clung to it towards Heaven and saw some of those who had clung to one or more of its branches, according to the degree of their obedience. I surely saw Zayd bin Harith clinging to a number of the branches and the branches were elevating him to the highest place in Heaven. So I became pleased. Then I lowered my sight to the earth. By the one who has sent me as a Messenger, I then saw the “Tree of Zaqoom”. Its branches were lowering themselves towards Hell and all those who had clung to one or more of its branches as a result of their ill deeds. I surely saw some of the hypocrites clinging to a number of the branches which were carrying them to the lowest abyss in a hell. So I became displeased.”

May 17

The Laws of Death

Imam Ali al-Hadi (peace be upon him) has said: “Remember when you are on your deathbed and your body is lying before your family members, then there is no physician to prevent you (from death) nor a friend to avail you.” (Bihar al-Anwar) When most of us are around a dying or deceased person, whether it is someone we love and feel close to or perhaps somebody we may not be so familiar with, we are overcome with a sense of confusion, shock, nervousness, and fear. It is unfortunate that during this time, the people surrounding the near-death person often forego some of the obligatory and recommended acts and supplications. According to the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them), if these acts are performed correctly for the sake of Allah, not only is there reward for the persons who carry out those funeral rites, but there is also great potential for the deceased to be rewarded with a better final destination, insha’Allah.



On the Deathbed



A Muhtadir is a dying person. A person becomes Muhtadir when death becomes apparent to one, and for example, is told that (s)he only has an hour or so to live and is nearing the final breath. At this stage, there are certain Islamic laws and rulings which become obligatory in regard to the Muhtadir.



Editor’s Note: The jurisprudential issues mentioned in this article are based on the rulings of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani. The rulings referenced are from his book Ahkam al-Amwat (Rules Relating to the Deceased), translated into English by Shaikh Saleem Bhimji and available online.



Obligatory Rules Relating to a Person in the State of Ihtidar



Asking for Forgiveness: Regardless of how pious and God-fearing one may be, asking for forgiveness for sins is an act which even the sinless and infallible Ahlul Bayt would practice. Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “When a believing Muslim frequently asks Allah for forgiveness, his record (of deeds) will ascend while it will be glowing.” (Makarim al-Akhlaq)



The Will Relating to the Rights of Others: Imam Sadiq has said, “One who dies without a will dies the death of one during the Days of Ignorance (pre-Islamic age).” (Wasail al-Shia) In addition to the specific rules governing an Islamic will, it must be noted that if the Muhtadir has any property or trust in his/her possession which rightfully belongs to someone else, or if the Muhtadir owes something to someone and is not able to fulfill the trust or pay back that which he owes, then this must be informed to those around the dying person. (Ruling #7) Imam Sadiq has said: “In no way is Allah worshipped better than by fulfilling the right of a believer.” (Al-Kafi)



The Will Relating to the Wajib Actions that Have Become Qadha: If the Muhtadir has not performed any obligatory actions in his life (for any reason whatsoever) and they have now become delayed or Qadha, this should be written in the will or at least others should be informed. For example, a person’s will may include the following: one year of missed Salat, five missed fasts due to sickness, one month of fasts voluntarily missed (and any Kaffara on fasts), Hajj not performed, $200 of unpaid Khums, $1000 of unpaid Zakat, etc. (Ruling #8)



Rules Relating to People Around a Person in the State of Ihtidar



Lay the Dying Person Facing the Qibla: It is obligatory upon every Muslim to lay a dying person facing the Qibla (on his/her back with the soles of the feet facing the Qibla), and if the dying person consents to it, there is no need to seek permission from the guardian. Otherwise, the permission must be sought. (Ruling #35, 37) Once while visiting a Muhtadir person, the Holy Prophet said: “Make this man face towards the Qibla, because if you do this, then the angels will turn their attention towards him, and Allah will also turn His attention to him until he leaves this world.” (Thawab al-A’mal)



The Recommended Rules: The shahadatain of Islam (testimony in Allah and His Messenger), the acknowledgment of the 12 Imams, and the other tenets of faith be repeated to the dying person in such a manner that he or she would understand them. It is also recommended that these things recited to him are repeated until the time of his or her death. (Ruling 38) The Infallibles have taught us, “At the time of death, one should recite La Ilaha Illallah to the dying person, since whoever’s last words are the La Ilaha Illallah will go to Paradise.” (Thawab al-A’mal) The Muhtadir should be carried to the place where (s)he used to offer prayers, as long as doing so would not cause pain to the person. (Ruling #40) For a person in the agony of death, it is recommended to recite Surah Ya Sin, Surah as-Safaat, Surah al-Ahzab, Ayat al-Kursi, the 54th verse of Surah of al-Aaraf, the last three verses of Surah al-Baqarah by his side, and as much as possible from the Holy Qur’an. (Ruling #41)



Recommended Du’as to be Recited: Recitation of the following du’a to the Muhtadir in a way that (s)he may understand it is recommended: “O Allah! Forgive my sins, which are many, and accept the little I have done in Your servitude. O the one who accepts the little (good deeds) and forgives the many (sins). Accept from me the little (good deeds) and forgive the many (sins). Truly, You are the Forgiver and the Merciful. O Allah, have mercy on me, truly You are the Merciful.” (Ruling #39) The recitation of Du’a Adeela is recommended, as well as recitation of a number of short supplications in which the shahadatain is repeated, Allah is acknowledged as the ultimate guardian, the Day of Resurrection is mentioned, and prayers are made for acceptance of good deeds and mercy.



Preparing the Body for Burial



Once the person has departed from this world, it is recommended to shut the eyes and lips, close the mouth, straighten the hands and feet, and spread a cloth over the dead body.



Obligatory Rules While Preparing the Body for Burial



The Wajib actions while preparing the body for burial become the obligation of the rightful guardian of the deceased, and if there is no guardian, then all surrounding Muslims become responsible. If any one person takes up the responsibility, then all others will be relieved of the responsibility; however, if nobody attend to the dead body as prescribed, then all will be considered sinful. Please refer to Ahkam al-Amwat for detailed information regarding this responsibility.



Ghusl al-Mayyit: Ghusl al-Mayyit is the obligatory bath for the deceased consisting of three washes/Ghusls. The first bathing should be with water mixed with “Sidr” (Beri) leaves. The second bathing should be with water mixed with camphor. The third should be with unmixed water. (Ruling #52) For full details, please refer to the Ahkam al-Amwat link mentioned above. Imam Sadiq has said: “There is not a single believer who gives another believer the Ghusl (after his death) and while shifting, the body says: ‘O Allah, this is the body of your believing slave. You have taken his soul from him and separated his soul from him, so forgive his sins, forgive his sins’ except that Allah forgives that person (who is performing the Ghusl) his sins for one year, except the major sins.” (Ahkam al-Amwat)



Kafan and Hunut: Kafan is the obligatory three pieces of cloth used (loin cloth, a shirt or tunic, and a full cover) to dress the deceased after the obligatory Ghusl al-Mayyit. Hunut is the obligatory application of camphor powder to the forehead, both the palms, both the knees, and both the big toes of its feet after the Ghusl has been performed. (Ruling #100) Imam Sadiq said: “My father (Imam Baqir) recommended me that I should provide a (good) Kafan for him, since the deceased will have pride over one another according to the type of Kafan that they have.” (Wasail al-Shia) It is in fact highly recommended for one to purchase and keep his/her Kafan in his/her lifetime. For full details on how to properly execute the Kafan and Hunut, please refer to the Ahkam al-Amwat link mentioned previously.



Salat al-Mayyit: It is obligatory to offer Salat al-Mayyit (funeral prayers) for every Muslim, as well as for a Muslim child if it has completed 6 years of its age (or a younger child who was aware of what prayer is). Salat al-Mayyit should be offered after the dead body has been given Ghusl, Hunut, and Kafan. The intention for the Salat al-Mayyit and the recitation of the five Takbirs will slightly differ depending on the type of deceased person, the detail of which can be found in Ahkam al-Amwat. The followers of the Ahlul Bayt recite five Takbirs in Salat al-Mayyit, while the non-Shias recite only four Takbirs. When Imam Sadiq was asked about this difference, the Imam replied, “Since Islam is built on five strong pillars, which are Salat, Zakat, Saum, Hajj, and the Wilayat of us, the Ahul Bayt. Therefore, Allah designated that one Takbir be recited for each of these pillars (of Islam), and our Shia have confirmed their belief in each of these five pillars of Islam, while those who are opposed to us do not believe in our Wilayat, the fifth pillar; thus, they only recite four Takbirs, and the Shia recite five.” (Wasail al-Shia)





Before Burial



Transporting the Mayyit: While the deceased is transported from one place to another, a coffin is traditionally used. A short du’a admiring the greatness of Allah should be recited.



Procession: The procession is when the body is carried from the place of Ghusl to the graveyard. Those accompanying the procession should recite a short du’a that asks Allah to pardon the deceased while testifying one’s belief in the Ahlul Bayt. The body should be carried haltingly, that is, the coffin should be placed on the ground and carried three times, such that the fourth halt is by the grave.



Burial



This is when the deceased is laid to rest in a grave in a Muslim graveyard on his/her right side facing the Qibla. The grave must be deep enough that its smell does not come out, nor does it allow beasts of prey to dig it out.





Recommended Acts of the Burial



Talqeen: Talqeen is usually performed before closing the grave. (Please note that the Talqeen may be performed at various stages while preparing the body for burial, i.e. while preparing the Kafan, etc.) Talqeen is performed by the person laying the deceased in the grave. (S)he should perform Talqeen by way of holding the right and left shoulders of the deceased and shaking them gently while speaking into the deceased’s ear. Talqeen is performed to remind the deceased of the answers to the questions which angels will ask during interrogation in the grave. These questions include: Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What is your religion? What is your book? Who are your Holy Imams? For the complete Talqeen to be read to the deceased, please click here.



It has been narrated that the angel of death watches which people offer their prayers on time and which people take their prayers lightly by not praying on time or not praying all together. Accordingly, those who had weak faith and didn’t pray will forget the answers to the questions in the grave (even if Talqeen is performed), whereas one who had strong faith and always prayed as soon as the time set in will be reminded of the answers by the questioning angels. So if there are any outstanding missed prayers of a believer as outlined in the Will or told to others, they should be performed as soon as possible to benefit the deceased. (Manazil-e-Akhira)



Jarida: Jarida is to place two pieces of fresh, green leafless twigs in the grave with the dead body. One twig should be placed below the armpit and the other twig should be placed above the armpit. (Ruling #108) The Ahlul Bayt really emphasized the importance of Jarida, as they said that as long as the twigs remained green and fresh, the deceased will be free from the squeezing of the grave.



It is also recommended to place some Khak-e-Shifa (soil from the grave of Imam Hussain) inside the grave and apply it to the forehead, palms, knees, and big toes, as this will protect the dead from chastisement of the grave.





After Burial



Recitation of Surah Fatiha while facing the Qibla and gifting the reward to the dwellers of a graveyard is one of the easiest things to do. This can be performed from anywhere.



Salat al-Wahshat: Washa al-Qabr means “terror of the grave”. The first night after the person is buried is known to be the most difficult. According to scholars, performing Salat al-Wahshat for the deceased person is a way of relieving him/her of the terror faced in the grave. The more people that offer this prayer for the deceased, the better it is. This prayer is performed after the Isha prayers. In the first rak’at, we recite Ayat al-Kursi after Sura Fatiha. In the second rak’at, recite Sura Qadr ten times after Sura Fatiha. Then we say, “O Allah, bless Muhammad and his Family, and give the reward of this prayer to [name of deceased].”



Visting the Graveyard: Although visiting the graveyard may be like sprinkling salt on open wounds, our Imams have told us that doing so comforts the grave dwellers and is highly recommended. When Imam Ali al-Ridha was asked, “Does a believer who has passed away know those people who visit the grave?” The Imam replied, “Of course, he is acquainted with those who visit him as long as they are sitting beside the grave. As soon as they get up from his grave side and leave, the fear takes over the person in the grave because of his leaving.” (Wasail al-Shia)



Rights of the Grieving Family: We should offer condolences to one who has lost someone. However, if the time lapse between the death and when one is able to offer condolences is long and will bring up sad memories to the family of the deceased, it is obviously not recommended to offer condolences. The Holy Prophet has said: “Whoever offers condolences to one who is grieving will be clothed with a beautiful and respectful robe on the Day of Judgment.” (Thawab al-Amal)



Although we may like to spend most of the first few days with the family of a deceased person, it is best to avoid eating a meal with them for the first three days. Imam Sadiq has said, “Eating food with the members of the family of the deceased is one of the actions of the people of Ignorance. However, the way of Islam is that food should be sent to their house, just as the Prophet did after the passing away of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib.” (Wasail al-Shia)





In Conclusion



Despite Islam’s emphasis on constantly remembering death, it is a topic considered taboo in the West. As true believers, death is something we must constantly think about and in fact look forward to. In the words of one scholar, death is nothing but reunion with the Beloved.



Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi mentions in Manazil-e-Akhira:



“At the time of death, the Holy Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt come near the head of the dying person, who is able to see them. It is narrated in Bihar al-Anwar that once Imam Ali al-Ridha (peace be upon him) went to meet one of his companions who was about to die. He looked towards the Imam and said, ‘I see the radiant faces of your Grandfather (the Holy Prophet), Your Father (the Commander of the faithful), Your Mother (Hazrat Fatema), and the other Imams in your ancestry. I also see your luminous face along with them.’ It is a fact that every dying man has a glimpse of the Ahlul Bayt according to his love for and knowledge of them. For a believer, their sight is a blessing from Allah, and for a hypocrite and disbeliever, it is a sign of Allah’s wrath.”



Reference: http://islamicinsights.com/religion/religion/the-laws-of-death.html



Author: Zara Syed